Alternative Construction: Contemporary Natural Building Methods|
by Lynne Elizabeth (Editor), Cassandra Adams (Editor)
The first comprehensive guide to combining traditional natural materials and
modern construction methods.
From adobe to straw bales, traditional building materials are being adapted to
meet code-required standards for health and safety in contemporary buildings
around the world. Not only are they cost effective and environmentally friendly,
but, when used correctly, these natural alternatives match the strength and
durability of many mainstream construction materials.
This book examines a broad range of traditional and modern natural construction
methods, including straw-bale, light-clay, cob, adobe, rammed earth and pise,
earthbag, earth-sheltered, bamboo, and hybrid systems. It also covers key
ecological design principles, as well as current engineering and building code
Experts on each building system have contributed core chapters that explore the
history, development, climatic appropriateness, environmental benefits,
performance characteristics, construction techniques, and structural design
principles for each method. More than 200 visuals depict both construction
processes and completed structures. An extensive resource guide shows where to
go for further information, training, and research.
In an increasingly resource-conscious era, alternative construction is truly an
idea whose time has come. Whether you're an architect, designer, student, or
homeowner, this book will help you to combine indigenous building materials with
modern construction systems and design standards to create low-impact,
high-quality buildings that meet the highest levels of comfort, health, and
From the Back Cover
The complete guide to selecting and using natural materials for building
Covering a broad range of options for natural building, Alternative Construction
examines straw bale, light clay, cob, adobe, rammed earth and pisé, earthbag,
earth-sheltered, bamboo, and hybrid systems for residential and low-rise
Over thirty well-known experts on each building system—including Athena
Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen (coauthors of The Straw Bale House), David Easton
(author of The Rammed Earth House), and Joseph Kennedy and Michael Smith (editor
and author of The Art of Natural Building)—have contributed core chapters that
explore the history, development, environmental benefits, and engineering and
building code requirements for each method. More than 200 visuals depict both
construction processes and completed structures, while an extensive resource
guide shows where to go for further information, training, and research.
Editors Lynne Elizabeth and Cassandra Adams have provided, in the words of
Environmental Building News, "a terrific overview of various methods for
building with earth, straw, and bamboo . . . Alternative Construction is an
enlightening, sometimes fascinating, combination of voices."
Whether you're a designer, builder, or owner, this book will help you to combine
indigenous building materials with modern construction systems to create
low-impact, high-quality buildings that meet the highest levels of comfort,
health, and safety.
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 24, 2005)